News is spreading quickly within the underground BlackBerry community of a leak within Research in Motion, the company that makes the phone, of the latest BlackBerry operating system. Designed for the Curve, the new OS (which has been rumored for some time) could easily be the upcoming release for other models such as the popular Bold.
Intrepid student that I am, I downloaded it and installed it on my Curve 8900, and through the perfectly seamless upgrade transition, I have discovered a bunch of new features which not only progresses what these devices can do on a software level, but also show a little more about where RIM is going and the connections it is making with other companies - Google, for example.
To be honest, it's not easy seeing what's new in the settings unless I constantly switch back and forth between the latest released BlackBerry OS and the leaked one. I can't be bothered with that, so some of what you see below may already be old-hat (and evidently, I haven't noticed since owning my phone).
What is in the new BlackBerry Curve (v184.108.40.206) operating system so far?
- Today screen: which includes your latest messages, missed calls and your upcoming calendar;
- Default account management: allowing you to choose service books for specific and priority calendars and message servers;
- GPS management: including location aiding which bridges location accuracy using the network and easing the burden on the battery without using GPS all the time;
- New icons: still the same user experience as before so it won't throw you off but more precise icons;
- TTD support: telecommunications device for the deaf;
- Enhanced call quality: such as default call volume, handset and headset call quality;
- Smart dialling: including office access extensions and rules which apply;
- Easier wiping: a simple yet secure way of removing certain bits or all data from your BlackBerry;
- Advanced profile settings: simpler categorised tones and alerts with more complex combination of settings;
- Voice dialling improvements: with playback name, speed and volume settings;
- New media folder: separating out your media into distinct areas instead of a media center;
- Enhanced searching: much clearer in what you are searching for with a white-on-black search bar;
- Details on media: picture names and date taken highlighted on pictures taken with the camera;
- Web browser improvements: a better looking start screen with address bar and search functions;
- Customisable web search: select from pre-configured search engines (Yahoo! by default, probably won't be now this has happened) or configure your own;
- Embedded media support: integrating embedded media into your mobile browsing experience;
- Google Gears included: allowing online and offline sessions to merge to speed up browsing;
- Send/share files easier: sending and sharing files are now easier with a dedicated included application;
- Documents to Go updated: although at the moment it just looks like the icons;
- Better power management: options to turn off or full power off, and scheduled turn-on times;
- Music statistics: showing you how much music you have, where and in which area;
- Redesigned music player: more space for automatically downloaded album art;
- Try-before-apply settings: letting the user pick their alert and notification settings and test it there and then to make sure it is right;
- Home screen preferences: lets you set the download folder, change the home screen layout, set the theme or wallpaper and reset the icon arrangement all from one screen.
There is no word on when the new operating system will be released, or even if it will indeed be available for current models. It could well be a new operating system for newer models which we have yet to discover, but either way, I'll be keeping my eye out for any more changes or developments.